Spring 2015 Student News

James Wisker received his MS Degree December, 2014. His thesis was titled: Balanced Urban Ecology and the Revitalization of Minnehaha Creek: Bridging the Land-Use Water Governance Gap. Wisker was advised by Bruce Wilson.

Kimi Gomez-Smith, won a best student paper award for her presentation "Characterization of Drinking Water Distribution System Biofilm Communities Using Next-Generation Illumina Sequencing of 16S Rrna." at the Water Quality Technical Conference (a conference of the American Water Works Association) in New Orleans LA, November 16-20, 2014.  Gomez-Smith is advised byRay Hozalski and Tim LaPara.

New WRS faculty:

Sebastian Behrens
PhD From: University of Bremen, Germany [Microbial Ecology, 2003]

Behrens is Associate Professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo-Engineering at the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities. His research is primarily focused on environmental biotechnology, biogeochemistry, and microbial ecology.

Andrew Bramburger 
PhD From: University of Windsor [Environmental Science, 2011]

Bramburger is a Research Associate at the University of Minnesota-Duluth at the Natural Resources Research Institute. His primary research interests are related to the relative influence of multiple stressors on algal communities and the use of algae as indicators of impacts to aquatic ecosystems. 

Ralph Garono 
PhD From: Kent State University [Aquatic Ecology, 1993]

Garono is currently a Research Associate at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. His current research interests focus on assessments, at multiple spatial and temporal scales, of aquatic and marine ecosystems. His research projects include: the use of aquatic insects as a wetland assessment tool; GIS-based watershed assessments; the use of GIS-based models to evaluate alternative land use scenarios; and, the use of hyperspectral imagery to map landscape patterns in intertidal estuarine vegetation. He currently is the chair of the Society of Wetland Scientists Human Diversity Committee.

Kathryn Schreiner
PhD From: Texas A&M University [Oceanography, 2013]

Schreiner is an Assistant Professor at the Large Lakes Observatory (LLO) at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Her research interests include carbon cycling and storage in lakes and lake sediments, the quantification and identification of terrestrial carbon sources to aquatic and marine systems, and the impacts of environmental change (climate warning, land use change, invasive species, etc.) on carbon cycling. 

Byron Steinman
PhD From: University of Pittsburgh [Geology and Planetary Science, 2011]

Steinman is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and the Large Lakes Observatory (LLO) at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. His research is primarily focused on reconstructing how climate has changed through time in various regions around the world including the Americas (North, South, and Central) and Asia using geochemical analyses of lake sediment. 

Santiago Romero-Vargas Castrillón
PhD From: Princeton University [Chemical Engineering, 2012]

Romero-Vargas Castrillón is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo-Engineering at the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities. His major research interests include membrane-based processes for water treatment; membrane fouling; environmental nanotechnology; environmental colloid and surface science.